Top 15 NJ Weekly Arts Events: New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, “Songs for a New World,” more


Xian Zhang will conduct the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra in Newark on October 8-10.

Here’s a look at the arts events happening across the state through October 14:


The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra will return to the concert hall for the first time since the start of the pandemic, kicking off its 2021-22 season with concerts on October 8 at 8 p.m. and October 10 at 3 p.m. at Prudential Hall in NJPAC in Newark. NJSO Music Director Xian Zhang will conduct and Daniel Bernard Roumain will be presented on the violin in a program that includes Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7; the world premiere of “Emerge” by Michael Abels (a co-commission of the NJSO); and that of Romanian Concerto for voodoo violin, which reflects its Haitian roots.

Members of the Orchester de Montclair will perform in the Second Sunday Chamber Concerts series at Van Vleck House and Gardens in Montclair, October 10 at 2 p.m. The program, titled “The ropes of autumn” will feature works by Richard Strauss, Antonin Dvorak and Kailyn Williams, a recent graduate of Morristown Beard School. The concert is free, but there will be a suggested donation of $ 10.

The New Jersey Shakespeare Theater set up a “Autumn night music” series on its outdoor Back Yard stage in Florham Park, featuring concerts by actor-singers (and alumni of STNJ plays and musicals) Elena Shaddow on October 8; Benjamin Eakeley, October 9; and Kate Baldwin, October 15. All shows are at 7:30 p.m.

• Robyn Hitchcock, from London who now lives in Nashville, has featured weekly online shows during the pandemic. In October, however, the eccentric singer-songwriter scheduled a tour that will take him from Virginia to Maine; it is Outpost in the Burbs in Montclair, on October 8 at 8 p.m., and Randy Now Cave Man in Bordentown, October 9 at 7:30 p.m. (For a chance to win two tickets to the Montclair show, email by 3:00 p.m. on October 6 with the word “Hitchcock” in the subject line.)


The Jazz Room Series at the Shea Center for Performing Arts at William Paterson University in Wayne begins with a concert by the guitarist on October 10 Russell malonequartet of. Next up will be the Art Farmer Tribute Quintet (pianist Geoffrey Keezer, saxophonist Ron Blake, bassist Kenny Davis, drummer Yoron Israel and trumpeter Jeremy Pelt), on October 24; this event will also include the archival dedication for the Farmer’s collection, which is being added to the William Paterson Living Jazz Archives. Upcoming concerts will include saxophonist Scott Robinson with the William Paterson University Jazz Orchestra on November 7; and Ryan Truesdell leading a rendition of the classic Miles Davis album, The birth of cold, November 14.

All shows will take place at 4 p.m., with meet-and-greet sessions an hour earlier at Shea Recital Hall.

The bands Jump Back, Nix, No Xquse, Revolver and Echo Charlie will perform at the Stone pony in Asbury Park on October 14 at 7 p.m. in a program called Earthshare NJ Rocks and for the benefit of the environmental organization Earthshare New Jersey. The event was postponed from March due to the pandemic; tickets for the original show will be honored. WCBS Newsradio 880 reporter Tom Kaminski will host the event and will also appear as guest drummer.


Mignolo dance company will be the first “Visitor parking” October 10 at 7 p.m. According to an article on, it is “a site-specific immersive interdisciplinary piece rooted in contemporary dance that explores mental health issues and their implications. Audiences will walk through multiple levels of Metuchen’s Pearl Street Parking Deck with dancers, visual art installations, and original music created around the theme of mental health.



The Paper mill play house in Millburn begins his 2021-22 season with “Songs for a New World” which will premiere on October 13, officially open on October 17, and run through November 7. Audience size will be capped at 75% and other COVID era protocols will also be in effect.

The play, a cycle of theatrical songs written by Jason Robert Brown, made its Broadway debut in 1995 and has been produced in London’s West End and elsewhere. “These are literally the journeys we all take in the face of difficult decisions or uncertain futures,” Paper Mill art director Mark S. Hoebee (who will also direct this production) said in a press release. “After the unimaginable year and a half that we have all been through, I think it will prove the undisputed power of the theater to comfort and heal.”

The Vogel at Red Bank’s Count Basie Center for the Arts will present “I’m not a comedian… I’m Lenny Bruce,” October 8 to 9 at 8 p.m. This solo play about the controversial satirist was written by and stars Ronnie Marmo, was directed by Joe Mantegna, and has previously been performed off Broadway and in Los Angeles.

Moon stage will present “The Frontera project” outdoors at Lackawanna Plaza in Montclair, October 7-10, then at Luna Stage’s outdoor tented space in West Orange, October 14-17. All shows are at 7 p.m.

The play is described on the Luna Stage website as a “joyful conversation” about life on the US-Mexico border (in the San Diego / Tijuana area). It features American and Mexican actors, who speak English and Spanish, and contains elements of theater, movement and music, as well as audience participation.

Stephen Temperley stars in “Nine Day Wonder”.

The Centennial Stage CompanyThe Fringe Festival starts with “Nine Day Wonder,” which will be presented at the Sitnik Theater at the Lackland Performing Arts Center in Hackettstown on October 14 at 7:30 p.m., October 15 and 16 at 8 p.m. and October 17 at 2 p.m. Written by and with Stephen Temperley, “Nine Day Wonder” is a one-act solo play about a contemporary man who somehow takes on a different identity as Will Kemp, a British actor of Shakespeare’s time (and known for his work comic in Shakespeare’s plays), who danced from London to Norwich (about 125 miles) over nine days, as a publicity stunt.

Playwright Joanne Hoersch, who worked as a waitress at the Playboy Club in the 1970s, wrote a play based on her experiences: “Rabbits” which took place at the Playboy Club in New York in 1973 and will have its world premiere at Hudson Theater Works in Weehawken, under the direction of HTW Artistic Director Frank Licato, October 7-9, 14-16 and 21-23 at 8 p.m., and October 10, 17 and 24 at 3 p.m. five women who “find themselves elated by the rise of feminism, haunted by the Good Bar murder and in conflict over their work as sexual symbols, as they bond in humor and compassion.”


The Morristown Book Festival and its associated KidFest will offer a variety of indoor, outdoor and online events on October 9 at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and other venues. All are free. Participating authors will include Kimberly McCreight, Megan Miranda, David O ‘Stewart, Courtney Zoffness, Lauren Willig, Sadeqa Johnson, Dan Gutman, Nick Bruel and David Ezra Stein.

• Jonathan Taplin burst into the music world as a tour director in the 1960s, working with artists such as Bob Dylan and The Band, and Judy Collins. He was then production manager of George Harrison’s “Concert for Bangladesh”; product “Mean Streets” by Martin Scorsese; and co-produced the film version of The Band’s “Last Waltz” all-star concert. An alumnus of Princeton University, he will discuss his book, “The Magic Years: Scenes from a Rock-and-Roll Life”, with Princeton University history professor and Bob Dylan expert, Sean Wilentz, October 12 at 6 p.m. at Maze books at Princeton.


The Maplewood Film Society will present “Frida Kahlo”, a 2020 documentary about the artist, October 10 at 5 p.m. at Woodland in Maplewood, with a post-screening discussion led by Mary Birmingham, Curator of the Visual Arts Center in New Jersey.

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